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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports brought us another edition of Full Count today while sporting yet another fantastic bow tie. Here are some highlights..
- The Marlins could wind up trading Ricky Nolasco if they fail to get back to the .500 mark. The Rangers have shown interest in Nolasco since last winter and the Yankees could look to reunite him with manager Joe Girardi. If the Fish make such a deal, it won't be in one of their classic salary dumps, it will be instead for baseball reasons. They're looking to increase their payroll ahead of their move into a brand new stadium and they could be major players for free agents this winter.
- The Rays still could end up as sellers but right now they appear to be buyers as they were looking to get Francisco Rodriguez before the Brewers swooped in at the final hour. If Tampa Bay sells, it's doubtful that they'll move any of their starters but B.J. Upton is another story. In theory, the Nationals, Phillies, and Braves could all be potential destinations for the outfielder.
- The three teams with the best chance of meeting the Rockies' asking price for Ubaldo Jimenez are the Yankees, Tigers, and Reds. The concerns with Jimenez are that he's not back to his 2009/early 2010 form and that his velocity has dropped. One scout told Rosenthal that he's not back to his ace form yet but he's getting close.
- The first-place Pirates are after upgrades but they should also improve from within. They have a number of injured players returning such as Jose Tabata, Evan Meek, and Ross Ohlendorf. The Bucs continue to search for a bat but they're not terribly interested in the Cubs' Carlos Pena.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Atlanta Braves | B.J. Upton | Carlos Pena | Chicago Cubs | Cincinnati Reds | Colorado Rockies | Detroit Tigers | Evan Meek | Francisco Rodriguez | Jose Tabata | Miami Marlins | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Yankees | Philadelphia Phillies | Pittsburgh Pirates | Ricky Nolasco | Ross Ohlendorf | Tampa Bay Rays | Texas Rangers | Ubaldo Jimenez | Washington Nationals
Rounding up Sunday's links, as Andre Ethier celebrates his 29th birthday….
- Jon Lester told WEEI.com's Rob Bradford that he didn't talk to Clay Buchholz about the pros and cons of signing a long-term extension before the right-hander inked a four-year pact today.
- Travis Ishikawa admitted he hoped another team would claim him when he was placed on waivers earlier this season, according to MLB.com's Chris Haft. However, now he says he's glad he's still with the Giants organization and is excited to stay on the West Coast, playing for Triple-A Fresno.
- Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette looks back at the trade that sent Xavier Nady to the Yankees. Kovacevic argues that even if three of the four players the Pirates received for Nady don't work out, Jose Tabata alone makes it a steal for Pittsburgh.
- Juan Rivera isn't off to a good start with his new team, as Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun writes. The Blue Jays are reportedly interested in trading Rivera, but his performance so far likely isn't helping draw any interest.
- The Indians will have some roster shuffling to do when injured players return, writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who also addresses trade possibilites in a Tribe mailbag.
- Nationals infielder Alex Cora should make a good manager someday, says MLB.com's Marty Noble.
Let's check out some Pirates-related tidbits courtesy of MLB.com's Jenifer Langosch..
- With Ramon Vazquez on the trading block, Langosch stresses that any talk of him being Texas-bound is merely conjecture at this point. Furthermore, if they do move him, they are unlikely to get much back and may have to eat some of his $2MM salary. However, Pittsburgh might be willing to move the 33-year-old for next to nothing.
- One reader asks if the Pirates are considering locking up their young prospects, like Milwaukee did with Ryan Braun or like Tampa Bay did with Evan Longoria. Langosch says that the Pirates will wait until players like Jose Tabata, Brad Lincoln, and Pedro Alvarez establish themselves in the majors to open up discussions.
- Speaking of Alvarez, Langosch expects the Pirates to hold off on bringing him up to the big leagues. Pittsburgh delayed Andrew McCutchen's promotion last season in order to give him more seasoning in the minors and, in all likelihood, to extend his time under team control.
A Super batch of links..
- In a piece for Fangraphs, Dave Cameron writes that the Twins are in the mix for the best offseason in baseball. Earlier this week, Minnesota agreed to a one-year deal with Orlando Hudson for just $5MM and appear to be close to locking up Joe Mauer.
- Even former Met Darryl Strawberry offered up a critique of the Mets' quiet offseason, writes Newsday's David Lennon. Strawberry said that the offseason "could have been better," when asked about it. Lennon's piece looks at some offseason targets that never became a reality for New York.
- Following up on yesterday's news that Bobby Kielty is converting to a pitcher, MLBTR heard from Kielty himself via email. Kielty says his ultimate goal is to be a right-handed bat off the bench and eat up some relief innings if necessary. He threw some bullpens for the Mets last season and has thrown for Oakland as well. Kielty says he reads MLBTR every day. Thanks for the support, Bobby!
- Peter Abraham has the full list of players who will be with the Red Sox in training camp this year.
- Jeff Zrebiec of The Baltimore Sun reports that Erik Bedard seriously considered an offer from the Orioles similar to the deal he signed to return to Seattle.
- Joel Sherman of The New York Post spoke one agent about the Mets, who said "How can you have that payroll and still not have a starting catcher or first baseman, a second baseman you hate and no legitimate starters after Johan?”
- Paul Lo Duca is unlikely to accept a minor league assignment if he doesn't make the Rockies, reports Troy E. Renck of The Denver Post. Colorado signed Lo Duca to a minor league deal in January.
- Rob Biertempfel of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says that Pirates' GM Neal Huntington admitted that there are "a lot of rumblings" that prospect Jose Tabata might actually be in his mid-20's. Tabata's listed age is 21, and ESPN's Keith Law ranked him as the 57th best prospect in baseball last month. The Pirates originally acquired Tabata from the Yankees in 2008 as part of the Xavier Nady-Damaso Marte trade.
6:59pm: Apparently, the Pirates couldn’t wait until Tuesday. Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review found out from Huntington that Tabata had the MRI today and everything looks fine.
“He does have some mild rotator cuff inflammation, but is able to return to activities as (the pain is) tolerated.”
6:11pm: Highly-touted prospect Jose Tabata will have an MRI done on his right shoulder Tuesday after alerting the Pittsburgh Pirates’ medical staff to some recent soreness, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports.
General manager Neal Huntington told Langosch that the team’s medical staff does not believe there is reason for serious concern. The MRI should help identify to doctors what is causing the outfielder discomfort.
Tabata was the marquee piece in last summer’s trade that sent Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte to the New York Yankees. He quickly became one of the Pirates’ top prospects and has already drawn unsolicited praise from manager John Russell this spring.
Tabata, 20, is 0-for-3 with three walks this spring.
This one will be a bit lengthy, which can be expected as the deadline approaches. Here’s a review of some of the major moves and rumors of the last week:
- The Yankees acquired Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte from the Pirates for OF Jose Tabata, RHP Ross Ohlendorf, RHP Dan McCutchen and RHP Jeff Karstens . I agree with Tim that Ian Kennedy would’ve been a better centerpiece, but Tabata is pretty highly-touted himself. Kennedy would have made a more immediate impact, while Tabata is only 19 years old.
- The Dodgers acquired Casey Blake for minor league RHP Jon Meloan and C Carlos Santana. The Dodgers get a nice boost to their lineup without giving up too much, although Santana’s putting together a very impressive season in Class-A ball.
- The Nationals sent Jon Rauch to the Diamondbacks in exchange for minor league 2B Emilio Bonifacio. Rauch adds to a strong bullpen for Arizona, while Bonaficio could become a very solid leadoff hitter in the future for Washington. They may have been able to get more for Rauch, but I personally like the move, regardless.
- The Brewers acquired Ray Durham from the Giants for minor leaguers Darren Ford and Steve Hammond. Rickie Weeks has been a disappointment to an otherwise red-hot club. Can Durham provide a bit more stability? The power’s gone, but he can still get on base.
- The Astros acquired Randy Wolf from the Padres for minor league pitcher Chad Reineke. This one confuses me a little bit; with all due respect, did the Astros forget they were 12.5 games out? I don’t see the logic in buying on a pitcher.
- The Cardinals traded Anthony Reyes to the Indians for minor league pitcher Luis Perdoma. I don’t get this one either. I feel like the Cardinals could have gotten more, despite Reyes’ struggles in the past. The Indians could make this one look like a steal, in my opinion.
- The Yankees are in deep discussion with the Mariners about acquiring Jarrod Washburn. Tim cites Buster Olney and Ken Rosenthal in saying that the Mariners want a top prospect in addition to the salary dump, but the Yankees are only offering a marginal prospect. Can’t say I blame them. A top prospect for an mediocre pitchers who’s due an additional $14MM? Sounds like Seattle’s getting greedy…
- A new, and surprising name surfaced in trade talks: Manny Ramirez. Manny has said he would waive his no-trade clause, and based on interviews, has basically said that 2008 will be his last season in Boston. I can’t see Boston trading their (arguably) best hitter in the middle of a pennant race, however. I’d bet on him finishing out the season.
- Speaking of corner outfielders, the Mets need one, and they know it. Having missed out on Nady and Blake, they will likely zero in on Raul Ibanez. Ibanez makes great sense for them, and the Mariners would obviously like to rebuild. I expect this one to get done.
- There was a report that Roy Halladay came out and told the Blue Jays that he is unhappy in Toronto, which has provoked the Jays to explore their potential options. Halladay’s price would have to be astronomical, I’d think. He’s signed through 2010 and pitching like it’s 2003 all over again. Personal speculation: I think Halladay to the Cardinals with a Colby Rasums centerpiece would make sense.
- Crisitan Guzman signed a two-year, $16MM contract extension. Guzman has revived his career after surgery following an awful 2005. I like the signing for the Nats.
- Jorge Posada could be out for the season. The Yankees are looking for catchers. In addition to the names mentioned there, they could take a shot at signing Johnny Estrada, who was DFA’ed by Washington this week. Estrada was terrible in Washington, but has put up solid offensive numbers for a catcher throughout his career.
- Brian Fuentes, Huston Street, and George Sherrill are all still potential trade pieces. Fuentes is the most likely to go, I’d say, although the Rockies are asking for quite a bit.
- Tim updated the left-handed reliever and left field markets.
Full Story | Comments | Categories: Anthony Reyes | Arizona Diamondbacks | Brian Fuentes | Casey Blake | Cleveland Indians | Cristian Guzman | Damaso Marte | George Sherrill | Houston Astros | Huston Street | Jarrod Washburn | Johnny Estrada | Jon Rauch | Jorge Posada | Jose Tabata | Los Angeles Dodgers | Manny Ramirez | Milwaukee Brewers | New York Mets | New York Yankees | Pittsburgh Pirates | Randy Wolf | Raul Ibanez | Ray Durham | Rickie Weeks | Ross Ohlendorf | Roy Halladay | San Diego Padres | San Francisco Giants | Seattle Mariners | St. Louis Cardinals | Toronto Blue Jays | Washington Nationals | Xavier Nady
Dejan Kovacevic brings us the state of the Pirates in a nice piece in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:
- As we know, the Pirates don’t want to trade Jason Bay. Kovacevic writes, "’We’ll need to be blown away," one team source said, referring to Bay." The Braves, Mets, Phillies, and A’s are the latest to inquire.
- If the Pirates don’t make any more deals, they will of course revisit the possibility in the offseason. Still, any of Bay, Jack Wilson, or John Grabow could remain long-term if the Pirates aren’t offered enough any time between now and next season, or if the Pirates don’t appear to be "legitimately competitive" in the first half next year.
- The Xavier Nady/Damaso Marte deal was initially reported to revolve around Phil Coke and George Kontos; however, one of those was diagnosed with a damaged labrum, seemingly Coke.
- Ross Ohlendorf is expected to join the Bucs rotation after three or four starts in Triple-A.
- A fun fact from Kovacevic: "If the Pirates could have traded Nady and Marte straight up for Jose Tabata last winter, Huntington said, ‘We would have done it in a heartbeat.’"
Update 1:05 pm: Several sources are reporting that once Ohlendorf and Tabata cleared physicals, the Pirates had a list of players to choose from.
The LoHud Yankees Blog reports the Xavier Nady, Damaso Marte deal has been reconfigured:
The Yankees are sending RHP Dan McCutchen, RHP Jeff Karstens, OF Jose Tabata and RHP Ross Ohlendorf to Pittsburgh for Xavier Nady and Damaso Marte.
LHP Phil Coke and RHP George Kontos are not in the deal.
Alejandro A. Leal writes for UmpBump.com. Comments? Rumors? alexo05 [at] umpbump [daught] com.
7:25pm: Ken Rosenthal confirms it: minor leaguers Ohlendorf, Coke, Kontos, and Tabata. My impression at first glance: the return is not terribly impressive for Nady and Marte. I don’t like the idea of the Bucs taking Tabata as the centerpiece – there is too much projection involved with him. If Ohlendorf and Ian Kennedy could’ve been had, I would’ve opted for that.
Rosenthal also says the Yankees’ talks for Jarrod Washburn are still ongoing.
7:17pm: Baseball Digest Daily says the Pirates will receive Jose Tabata, Ross Ohlendorf, and two other minor leaguers (perhaps Phil Coke and George Kontos, based on rumors). SI.com’s Jon Heyman is on board with that.
A separate Pirates rumor was squashed tonight – they are not close to trading Jason Bay to the Braves.
6:32pm: Xavier Nady was pulled from the Pirates’ lineup tonight after one inning. No known injury.
UPDATE, 12-3-07 at 12:02am: Not only will Johan veto any midseason deal, he’ll veto any deal to a team other than the Yankees or Red Sox.
UPDATE, 12-2-07 at 8:30pm: Hank weighs in, reiterating the deadline. He says the third player actually isn’t the sticking point. Thanks Hank!
UPDATE, 12-2-07 at 7:30pm: The Yanks’ deadline on their offer, which no one is taking seriously, is for end of day Monday. Brian Cashman has given Bill Smith a list of possibilities for the third player in the deal.
UPDATE, 12-2-07 at 6:15pm: Ken Rosenthal says Santana told the Twins he won’t waive his no-trade clause during the season. It’s now or never. The packages the Yankees and Red Sox are offering are definitely better than two draft picks, especially since there’s no guarantee one of them will be a first-round pick. I’d be surprised if he’s not moved this week.
UPDATE, 12-2-07 at 1:30pm: Buster Olney is reporting that the Sox will include Ellsbury in their offer, but pull Lester out of it. Basically the Twins can have one or the other. Olney doesn’t say whether Buchholz/Ellsbury is possible, but I imagine it’s not. The Twins are expected to choose an offer from Boston or New York soon.
FROM 12-2-07 at 8:45am:
When we left off last night, the Twins and Yankees were still haggling over the third player in a Johan Santana trade. The Twins wanted Alan Horne or Austin Jackson, according to Jon Heyman. Now comes word from Tyler Kepner that those two are considered untouchable in the deal by the Yanks. Dellin Betances, Ian Kennedy, and Jose Tabata round out the five that they will not include as the third player.
It’s said that the Yankees will turn to Dan Haren if they don’t reach an agreement with the Twins today or tomorrow. The Twins still like Jacoby Ellsbury more than Phil Hughes, so they’re trying to get the Red Sox to replace Coco Crisp with him in their offer.